If a baby is born preterm, will they still be normal?. A lot of women who are delivering preterm want to know what the long-term prognosis is for their baby if they are born early. The definition of full-term is 37 weeks, and so if a baby is born before that time, then they are deemed preterm. With that said, babies do best if born after 39 weeks. Studies have shown that they do well and have the best outcomes. For those women who do end up delivering between 34 and 37 weeks, it will probably be comforting for them to know that their babies should have the same long-term effects as a full-term baby, meaning that long-term, things should be okay. But that doesn't mean that there aren't going to be hurdles to overcome in the beginning.
Babies who are born early, like that 34 to 37 week grey area, typically have problems with breathing, so they go to the newborn ICU for days to weeks. In fact most practitioners tell parents to plan on their baby being in the NICU until their due date, and if they end up going home earlier, then that's just a pleasant surprise. Other complications frequently include jaundice and the inability to grow, because they don't come out with a really strong reflex to suck, and so it takes time for them to learn how to eat and how to grow. These things can be a very difficult challenge for parents in the beginning, but again, they can have hope that if everything else is going well and the baby doesn't have any preexisting conditions or congenital anomalies, then in the long run, things should be okay.
If you are threatening to deliver preterm, my suggestion to you is to talk with your OB provider who can give you the best information based on their knowledge of your circumstances. Of course, other than gestational age, there are many other things that can affect a baby's outcome, and based on their knowledge of what's going on with you, they can give you the best advice. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
Tags: If a baby is born preterm, will they still be normal?